The Disaster Research Center

Welcome to DRC

Mission of DRC

The Disaster Research Center is committed to advancing the state of the art and the scientifically guided practice in disaster research; educating the next generation of disaster science scholars and informed practitioners in the fields of disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery; and creating, gathering, and disseminating disaster knowledge in a dynamic and responsive way.

Vision of DRC

To be the leader in advancing disaster knowledge, through multi-disciplinary research, that contributes to solving complex social problems related to disasters.


The Disaster Research Center was established in 1963 and now, fifty years later, DRC is celebrating its continued success in research, training and service to the disaster community. DRC was established at The Ohio State University in 1963 by Professors E.L. Quarantelli, Russell Dynes and J. Eugene Haas and moved to its current location at the University of Delaware in 1985. The Center was the first in the world devoted to the social scientific study of disasters.

Historically, DRC has conducted field interviews and extended research projects on group, organizational, and community preparation for, response to, and recovery from natural and technological disasters and other community-wide crises. While much of the research at DRC has been interdisciplinary throughout its existence, DRC has embarked on a new era as the Center builds on and maintains its foundation in social science while broadening its activities to embrace more explicitly interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary and cross disciplinary research. Graduate and undergraduate training has been an integral component of DRC’s mission. Graduate researchers from DRC have gone on to careers at leading universities, prominent research centers, key disaster-oriented government agencies, and private sector organizations that deal with disaster and risk issues. All DRC research is intended to yield both basic scientific knowledge on disasters and information that can be applied to develop more effective plans and policies to reduce disaster impacts.

DRC Early History

A first-hand account of DRC’s history by Founder E.L. Quarantelli.

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